Benedetto Files Challenge to Order Knocking Him Out of Judge’s Race

Submitted by Thomas Benedetto for Oswego County Judge

Thomas Benedetto
Thomas Benedetto

Thomas Benedetto, a candidate for Oswego County Court Judge, has asked a State Supreme Court Justice to help him gain ballot access in the race. Benedetto, a Republican, filed a request for judicial intervention to overturn a determination of the Oswego County Board of Elections, issued on August 4, 2010, which ruled to invalidate the designating petitions that were filed to nominate him as a Republican candidate in the race.

In the filing, his lawyers argue that the Board of Elections Commissioners acted arbitrarily, or otherwise failed to exercise lawful discretion to allow Benedetto to be on the ballot under New York State Election law and that the commissioners should have determined that there were a sufficient number of signatures from registered Republican voters to validate his petition to gain ballot access.

The court case will be heard on Thursday before State Supreme Court Justice Hugh Gilbert in Watertown. The suit asks the judge to reinstate the petitions and allow Benedetto to be on the Republican Primary ballot. The Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

“We believe there were enough valid Republican signatures to meet the legal requirements to add my name to the ballot for Oswego County Court Judge,” said Benedetto. “Over thirteen hundred people signed the petitions. That’s over 300 more than is required by law to be on the ballot,” added Benedetto.

The Oswego County Republican Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race, he noted. “The County Committee specifically voted on May 20th to allow Republican voters to pick their candidate on Primary Day. Allowing me on the ballot will permit Republican voters to decide who should be their candidate in the November election,” Benedetto said.

Benedetto’s petitions were challenged by Lawyer Charles H. Cieszeski, a long-time friend and former law partner of Donald Todd, the other Republican candidate in the race. “Voters clearly want to see choice on the ballot. We simply want a fair shot at getting on the ballot to let the voters decide,” he said.